When an emergency closing or dismissal of an Amherst elementary school occurs, the responsibility for the safety and welfare of students is shared by the school district and parents. Although such occasions should be rare ones, this policy is intended to guide all parties and facilitate communication and cooperation between schools and parents.
The Superintendent is empowered to close any or all schools, delay starting times, or dismiss schools early in case of severe weather or other emergencies which threaten the safety or welfare of students.
A. In the event a decision is necessary prior to the opening of school to close schools or to delay the starting of schools, the Superintendent is responsible for communicating this decision via local area radio stations.
B. In the event a decision is necessary during the school day to curtail the school day early, the following procedures will be followed:
- If a single school is involved and students must be removed from the school, all students and supervisory staff will be moved to another school location. Parents will be notified of this emergency action by local area radio stations and communications with area colleges and businesses. By the regular closing time for that school day, all students will be returned to their own school site for dismissal. Walkers and bused students will then proceed home as usual.
- If the school district is involved in an emergency closing during the school day:
- this action will be broadcast over local area radio stations and through communications with area colleges and businesses.
- those students whose parents have notified the school that they have made safe arrangements with and for their children in such an event will be dismissed early. Walkers and bused students will proceed home as usual.
- those students whose parents have notified the school that they have not been able to make safe arrangements with and for their children in such an event shall remain in the school, in an appropriately supervised setting, until their parents can be notified and make arrangements to pick up their children from the school.
C. Parents will be requested each year to record, with the Principal of the school where their children attend, whether or not:
- They have been able to make safe arrangements with and for their children in the event they are to be sent home from school before the regular school closing time and that the school may dismiss their children to go home as usual.
- They have been unable to make arrangements for the safety of their children in the event they are to be sent home from school before the regular school closing time and that the school should hold their children at the school in an appropriately supervised setting until they are able to arrange to pick them up. Phone numbers where parents, or other persons they designate, may be contacted will also be provided the Principal.
D. Decisions by parents not to send their children to school on days when weather conditions are questionable will be respected. Such decisions by parents should be communicated directly to the school by phone.
E. A copy of this policy and appropriate administrative regulations will be distributed to staff and parents at the beginning of each school year and a reminder sent home as the winter season approaches.